April 7th, 2012
08:48 AM ET

Taking a rare tour of a Mormon temple

By Eric Marrapodi and Brian Todd, CNN

Kansas City, Missouri (CNN) - Elder William Walker slipped white booties over his black wing-tip shoes and instructed his guests to do the same as he led them into the newest Mormon temple in the world.

This day was the first chance the public had to see inside the sacred space for the area’s 49,000 Mormons, and it was also one of the last.

On May 6, when Thomas S. Monson, the head of the 14 million member Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, dedicates this temple, the doors will close forever to the public. The church said it expects as many as 100,000 visitors in Kansas City before the temple will be closed to the public.

After that, only temple-recommended Mormons will be able to walk through the heavy wooden and stained-glass doors.

“This is a sacred space, set apart place for only those who are devout followers of the faith,” Walker said.

For Mormons, temples serve as places of contemplation, instruction and worship experiences, like weddings and posthumous baptisms.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

The 67-year-old Walker is the executive director of the Temple Department, and he is the point man for the church’s 137 temples.

Walker is a top official in the LDS church as a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy and he reports directly to Monson. The Canadian-born hockey fanatic has been a lifelong member of the church. He graduated from Brigham Young University, served a Mormon mission to Japan and spent time in the private sector working in securities and investment banking before being called to serve the church full-time in 2002.

Kansas City’s temple is the latest to open. The church has announced it will build 29 temples across five continents. Construction is under way in Paris and Rome, and temples are planned for Peru and South Africa.

“We’re building temples where the church is grown and have a concentration of members,” he said.

Outside the new Mormon temple in Kansas City, Missouri.

Inside the temple the required first stop is the Recommend Desk. After the dedication, only Mormons who have a recommend card are able to enter and participate in worship. The personalized cards are given by local church leaders to adherents who profess to be living in accordance with church teachings.

As he explained the process, Walker reached into his wallet, pushed his Utah driver’s license aside and pulled out his recommend card, which was endorsed by Monson, his bishop. Walker said his credit-card-sized recommend card, like all others, is only good for two years.

CNN was invited by church officials to tour the temple with Walker before its dedication. The church denied CNN's request to film inside the space, saying it was against church policy. The LDS church provided still images after the tour, which accurately depicted key parts of the temple. In a rare move, CNN was permitted to film inside the front of the temple at the Recommend Desk, but no farther.

"It's not about secret. It's about sacred,” Walker said after the tour, making what the church sees as a key distinction. “We feel that it's a very sacred and special place and therefore it is reserved for those worship functions and those ordinances that take place in the temple. It's not about secret."

Walker said the policy is not unlike that for Shinto shrines in Japan, where he served his mission.

But it's a thin line between sacred and secret. Public tours of the temple are only available when they are first built or undergo massive renovations. After that, outsiders and Mormons who are not temple recommended are kept out, even from wedding ceremonies.

In the sealing room, where eternal weddings take place, Walker points out the altar at the center of the room. The bride and groom kneel facing each other and the officiant stands off to the side. The room is richly decorated with Swarovski crystal chandeliers and massive gilded mirrors on either side of the room, and Walker raves about the design on the white carpet, carefully explaining how local artisans cut the meticulous pattern by hand.

Despite the grand size of the building, each room is small: This is the biggest of the three sealing rooms, and its capacity is just 49 people.

Guests are welcome at Sunday worship at one of the church’s 18,000 meeting houses, Walker is quick to note. The temple, he observes, “is a sacred, special place that’s unique. There are only 137 of these temples in all the world.”

The temple also contains a gleaming baptismal font. Though it’s a point of pride for Mormons, it has been controversial elsewhere. A church ceremony called “proxy baptisms” by Mormons includes posthumous baptisms of Jews, some of whom have protested the practice.

The baptismal font at the newest Mormon temple.

However, in Mormon doctrine, baptism is essential for salvation. While converts to the faith are baptized in services at local wards, the weekly meeting place for services open to the public, proxy baptisms take place only in the temple and in private.

The proxy baptisms are supposed to be for Mormons’ ancestors who were not of the faith. Walker said the baptism serves as an invitation to accept Mormonism as an avenue into heaven.

Explainer: How and why do Mormons baptize the dead?

At the temple, Walker took his visitors through the process as it is supposed to work.

The font rests on 12 oxen, which he said represent the tribes of Israel.

Adherents change into white gowns he jokingly referred to as "jumpsuits," provided by the temple. A male priest leads the proxy into the waist-high water, gives the blessing and the name of the ancestor, then the proxy is lowered into the water, fully immersed, then brought up to the surface. The desk next to the font has a small monitor and a light. That person's job is to record the act for the church's central database.

When the temple begins operation, Walker said, this is a scene that will play out “hundreds of times a day.”

But some Mormons have used the church’s extensive genealogy database to baptize others who are not Mormon ancestors, such as the murdered Jewish reporter Daniel Pearl and holocaust victims like Anne Frank. It’s a practice that has outraged Jewish leaders.

“When people violate the church policy of doing baptisms for those who our leaders have said we’re not going to do that, they’re acting on their own in contradiction of church policy,” he said. “We’re unhappy about that. We love our Jewish friends. We don’t want to offend them or anyone else by our religious practices.”

“We’re sorry. We live by our word and when we say we’re going to do something, we’re going to try and do it,” Walker said.

He promised disciplinary action.

“We’re now tracking those who’ve done this contrary to church policy and we’re going to shut down their access to the church’s database, Family Search, so they can’t do this.”

He acknowledges interest in proxy baptisms, and other Mormon practices, has spiked thanks to Mormon Mitt Romney’s run for president.

While the church takes no position on party politics nor allows its officials to endorse candidates, Walker can see some good coming out of Romney's run for the White House.

“I think it’s perfectly understandable people who are considering him would want to know more about the church he espouses,” he said. “In many ways it may be a good thing that people will want to know more. Maybe some of the old ideas about the church that have persisted in American culture can change.”

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soundoff (4,366 Responses)
  1. chuck

    I'm afraid that we were always taught that whoever altered the Bible was committing blasphemy. The Book of Mormon certainly changed the Bible. Therefore, it is blasphemous. That is not a statement of hate, merely a statement of fact. And a lot of us believe it to be true. And that is coming down from pulpits. You may not like it, but it is the truth.

    April 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Michael M.

      Chuck, I understand your concern of some one changing the Bible– as I to am devout reader of the Bible. However, I am not sure I understand how the Book of Mormon changes the Bible. The Bible is a compilation of books written by prophets. The Book of Mormon is also words of prophet but on another continent that King James did not have access to when they compiled the King James version of the Bible.

      April 8, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Michael M.
      You have to realize (and I say this gently) that the people that lived in the Americas before the Spanish or English came were not from the Middle East, they weren't Jews, they weren't visited by Jesus and they weren't cursed by god (given a dark skin) for being nasty. Science has proven that anything the Book of Mormon says about North and South America (Historically) is completely inaccurate. There are so many doctoral thesis and archeological research out there for anyone to read that perhaps you should find out the truth of your own religion, once and for all.

      April 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Joe

      I'm not an anti-Mormon so I'm not omniscient, but I know a little about the Bible and Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon doesn't change the Bible any more than John changed Matthew. All are Testaments of Jesus Christ.
      The evidence indicates that the Book of Mormon is an ancient book, and, that it is written by people with Middle Eastern connections.
      It is also interesting that the people most closely related to Native Americans are perhaps the Jewish people, and Turkic Central Asians, living in the North Countries, where Israelites fled, etc. Native American religions, morphology, culture, etc, all show more direct relationships to Middle Eastern peoples than with East Asians. Of course, as with all things to do with true religion, none of these evidences will do you any good if you don't want to know the truth about the Book of Mormon. You can not be dragged up the Holy Mountain, you must seek, climb, and then you will find.. Read Alma 32, and it gives instructions on how to perform an experiment. And, keep in mind, that there are people, and fallen angels ; ) provided to distract, mock, point fingers of scorn, lie, etc. They make anti-Mormon movies, comment all day long, promote hatred and misunderstanding, etc. We all know these things aren't from God. All you have to do is read their comments to know who employs them..... ; )

      April 9, 2012 at 2:02 am |
    • Joe

      Oh, btw, Chuck, I appreciate your kindness. Some of the sarcasm was directed at my good friend, the postmor.. (he hates on Christ's Church professionally)

      April 9, 2012 at 2:05 am |
    • pastmorm

      Your ignorance doesn't do you any justice. Read "Guns Germs and Steel." A book done on the study of the genetic make-up of the ethnic people of each country in the world. The native people of the North and South Americas have NO genetic relation to anyone from the middle east. Indeed they are related to Tibetans and Chinese genes (though still far removed by a couple thousand years).
      No, I don't hate on you or your church professionally. But to me, your church represents a poison that cannot be allowed to continue converting and damaging people with it's hidden hatred and cruelty. It's a cult based on polygamy and pedophilia, assassins (Porter Rockwell the Avenging Angel for the mormons that killed anyone that dared speak against it) and theocratic monarchism. All of the things I mentioned are history. History cannot be changed, it cannot be hidden and with today's technology people can find out the truth of your church and see it fall apart once and for all.

      April 9, 2012 at 10:25 am |
  2. BilCat

    Well, everyone is welcome to their own opinion about anything. For me, The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restoration of the church that Jesus formed during His ministry. He called men to follow Him and gave them power and authority to preach to the world – the power and authority being called the Priesthood. Years and distance eventually saw the deaths of these men and women and the church the Jesus setup cease to exist. That's what we call the Apostasy.

    What continued to grow and call itself the Christian church saw people later leave because its current teachings did not match with what was written in the then compiled Bible. Think – the reformers like Luther and Calvin.

    Europeans then found the "new world" – North and South America – and people started going there to find treasure and new opportunities and to be able to live their lives how they wanted. A new country was formed with a government which promised there would no "government sponsored church" (ie, Church of England in Britain). The people would be free to worship who, what or how they may.

    The Lord restored His authority and church organization through Joseph Smith. Joseph translated the records of previous inhabitants to be the Book of Mormon, another Testament of Jesus Christ. Read the Book of Mormon. As you read it and ponder the stories in it ask God, our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ if it is true. If you pray with real intent – that being with the thought that "I'm reading this to draw closer to Jesus the Christ", you will feel the Holy Ghost touch your heart and mind and you will know that the Book of Mormon is indeed God's words to His children in the Americas.

    April 8, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Um, your testimony is fantastic, and it's great that you have something that you obviously believe in very deeply. The problem with your Book of Mormon, however, is that Universities and Archaeologists around the world have proven that the people that supposedly existed in your BOM didn't exist in the "New World."
      Basically for all of you non -mormons...mormons believe that Native Americans and South Americans are the descendants of Jews from the Middle East that came in boats with no windows not too long ago. They actually believe that they natives were "cursed" with a dark skin (and called Lamanites) because they were naughty Indians (in the case of mormons...they were naughty Jews).
      So....if your Book of Mormon has been disproved by science and the rest (especially Isaiah) was copied from the Bible, you don't really have much of a foot to stand on when it comes to being the ONLY "true" church on the earth.

      April 8, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  3. Joe

    I was introduced to the temple by anti-Mormons. I attended a Baptist Church and watched anti-Mormon movies, read books, listened to pastors, etc. They painted it as something evil. They asserted that we can’t change it (as if they are in charge ; )) They assert that nothing can ever progress because God, who once had no body, but took upon Him flesh, is unchangeable. They don’t understand but wish to impose their misunderstanding upon us. I started studying Mormonism, read the Book of Mormon, felt the light, and tearfully rejoiced in the truth. Sadly, I still sort of saw the temple through tainted twisted anti-mormon eyes. I went to a temple visitor center before going through. I felt peace, love, and light there. I've been to places where evil was (murders, anti-Mormon movies etc) and I felt none of that near the temple. I prayerfully prepared. It was not as described by darkened minds. It was the highlight of my life. It so beautifully portrays our life's journey and our Saviors love. Many tears of joy have been shed there, it is sacred ground.

    I’ve since learned that the rites were practiced by the earliest Christians, and still are by many non-LDS today. The evidence is ample, and it is sad that people continue to hate and disrespect sacred things.

    April 8, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • pastmorm

      My goodness Joe, could you provide us the proof that earlier Christians practiced the very rituals that mormons practice today? What monuments? What books?

      April 8, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Joe

      I don't think any proof would any difference for you : ). If you promise that it would 9and agree to stop disrespecting others), then I will provide.

      The anti-Mormon says: "And as far as tolerance. You hypocrite! The way you treat women, the way you treated Blacks, the way you treat gays even now, spending over 20 million dollars of your "church" money to deny them equal rights. WOW. NO tolerance there!!!"

      Most Mormons are women of color. My family is racially mixed (Black/White etc). I'm not sure what you are accusing me of, but i hope you will work on your own bigotry first. As was pointed out below, the racism and bigotry of gays and atheists who tried to stamp out religion helped cause the deaths of many millions.
      The LDS Church has called for compassion and tolerance, and protections for all, they have condemned bigotry.

      Here is what your anti-Mormon community does, and did (they might remove these comments, truth is not easy to come by in the media, sooo read fast : ))
      Wouldn't even post, so i'll do them one at a time, see which words it is filtering for....

      April 9, 2012 at 2:28 am |
    • Joe

      Ok, tried that one many times and don't know what else I can edit out....moving on for now

      One thing I've always found interesting (as I said below) is how those who are most hateful towards Mormons, and who most often label us as racist women oppressors etc, are most often in those groups with the biggest ongoing issues with racism and oppression of women (the left (especially the gay community, and the far right(mostly Christian fringes)). A simple search will turn up many articles in gay magazines and so on, discussing their ongoing oppression of minorities, yet, I bet postmor doesn't have any projects for rooting out bigotry among his friends. Postmor, I think the world would be much better of if you worked on combating the bigotry among your own, and I can work on the bigotry in my community : ), you remove that beam, then come and talk to the Mormons about their mote.

      Here is some info on past racism in the community that would stamp out religion, and some indications on how they plan to "destroy the Utah brand":

      First from Crafting Gay Children'

      April 9, 2012 at 3:02 am |
    • Joe

      So, it won't let me quote from Crafting Gay Children, but I think everyone should read it, here is a link:


      April 9, 2012 at 3:04 am |
    • Joe

      See the comments at this link by Jersey Girl for more info on these next comments (maybe too informing for liberal media, but they won't remove dishonest anti-Mormon stuff below, no matter if it is flagged (they only have those there for certain persons to let them know if truth is coming out perhaps???)


      Here is just one quote, discusses how the party that gave us WWII was conceived in a gay bar.

      sorry had to edit out info, check the link for more clarity on what is going on.

      "They (founders)...were anti (Shem)...ideal was the...boy relationship extolled and engaged in by the Greeks, Crusaders and Teutonic knights. They considered these....activities morally superior to....women, whom they ...useful only for..."

      April 9, 2012 at 3:18 am |
    • Joe

      And, since I can't remember if the anti-Mormon is one of the "Christian" anti-Mormons fighting against real Christians (the Mormons I know are generally Christians, except I’m not as good as them, I grew up in the hood, and have a harder time turning the cheek to the bullies, I don’ t hate them, but sass bigotry wherever I find it ; ), I'll say that Liberal’s often seem to feel they are better than others and so it's ok to hate religious persons etc because liberals don’t have any bigotry or racism in their past. But, it seems to me that we all have racism in our past, and, in the present, liberals have some of the biggest ongoing issues with bigotry and racism, AND those groups most often associating themselves with the left have some really seriously frightening issues with past racism, bigotry etc (as shown in links above).

      I don't think we need to talk about it, but if we must, it should be pointed out that you have been misinformed by anti-Mormons. And there is a double standard applied to Mormons, that others don't apply to themselves.

      Can we justify implying that Obama is racist, or that he should renounce his faith because of the racism in his mostly white Church? I don' t think so, but ya'll do it to Mormons.

      Seems there are reasons why we don't hear how his Congregationalists so mistreated Blacks that they felt a need to start their own congregations. And there are reasons why we don’t hear much about mainstream Christian leaders praying about the curse of Ham on the “wretched Ethiopians.” (after Brigham Young said “If the Government of the United States, in Congress assembled, had the right to pass an anti-polygamy bill, they had also the right to pass a law that (Blacks) should not be abused as they have been...For their abuse of that race, the whites will be cursed, unless they repent.”

      And why don’t gays want to talk about the “Brown Shirts” or their ongoing segregation and mistreatment of racial minorities.
      Why don’t atheists seek to eliminate racism and bigotry among atheists, instead of bullying the religious? Past bigotry in atheistic regimes has caused the destruction of millions of lives.

      And why don’t all Christians discuss how early Christian fathers taught that having servants was ok due to the curse of Ham, and why don't Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, discuss that they taught (edited) and that Blacks were (edited) marked for servitude and not subjects of salvation, and having no souls etc?

      The edicts of some mainstream Christians caused the enslavement and death of over 100million humans.

      But Mormon leaders said this: "We repudiate efforts to deny to any person his or her inalienable dignity and rights on the abhorrent and tragic theory of the superiority of one race or color over another." (Church Global Media Guide)

      And, even in modern times many Churches have these beliefs (see letter to James Landrith from Bob Jones University) while Mormons condemn all racism, past and present, within and without the Church. Indeed, if we compare LDS to others we would find and research has confirmed it) that Mormons are among the least bigoted of peoples.....so why does the anti-Mormon continue to paint LDS as prejudiced hypocrites?

      I'll let you decide, but, if you read his comments below, and all over the internet, you will see that it just might have something to do with a very large bigoted anti-Mormon beam in his own eye..... ; ) I think he should remove that first, then he can come and talk to me and my Black LDS family members, help us remove our racist mote (because we're Mormons I guess)

      April 9, 2012 at 3:38 am |
  4. Joe

    Ancient writings, monuments, graves etc, show that the sacred LDS temple rite predates the secret societies of President Clinton, Obama (reportedly), and even Santorum’s Knights of Columbus, etc. When hatred toward the Church of Jesus Christ calmed, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was built, Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, may have lost some information, but he still requests that Christians don’t discuss even the baptism and Eucharist parts of the temple “mysteries.” He discusses them with the initiated only, but makes it clear that he is not discussing all. Today we perform these baptismal and other sacraments outside of the temple also, but, if we didn’t, dishonest people would twist these first outward symbols into something like “Mormon cannibalism” or “forcing people under the water to show them they would be killed if they didn’t obey Mormon leaders.”

    April 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Hey Joe, I thought I'd be helpful and show people the exact rituals that you say predate all other faiths. Hope this helps. Always here for ya bud!


      April 8, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Joe


      Here is a little video of an anti-Mormon, these are the kinds of people who post this stuff on the internet, do they seem Christian to you?

      and antother

      How About Tolerance For All?
      by Bob Lonsberry


      April 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
    • Joe

      Here is another article, you can click on the link, if you want to see video. Contrast the anti-Mormons like postMormon (a career hater) to the Mormons. Which group do you think is going to be more honest, more Christian, etc?

      April 8, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • Joe

      oops, forgot the link: http://www.fairlds.org/authors/wilde-tiffany/without-the-walls-of-temple-square I love anti-Mormons, contrasting their dishonesty and hatred to the love of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints inspired me to read the Book of Mormon and prayerfully consider it. I found that it was true, and the Temples that the anti-Mormon profanes is the House of God. Jesus called it His Father's House for a reason.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Ah Joe, you mormons use the word, "anti-mormon" like it's candy. When I was a mormon myself I used it to my self defense ALL the time because it made me feel persecuted and the church does indeed teach that only the truest church of Christ will be persecuted, so of course you're told that you're persecuted by "anti-mormons" all the time. Paranoid yet?
      And as far as tolerance. You hypocrite! The way you treat women, the way you treated Blacks, the way you treat gays even now, spending over 20 million dollars of your "church" money to deny them equal rights. WOW. NO tolerance there!!!

      April 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  5. zip

    Honest question to the Mormons here. Is it true that when you become a member of the LDS you take a vow that you will disembowel yourself if you reveal the churches secrets?? Thanks for the response.

    April 8, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Honest response zip...Once, it was true that you made that particular commitment with a symbolic finger slash across your throat and one across your stomach, but they have indeed taken this ritual (called the blood oath) out of their temple rituals for some time. When I was a missionary for the mormon church it was still a part of the ritual, so I can tell you that it did exist at one time.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Michael M.

      No, that is not true. I like how this article stresses the fact that temples are sacred not secret. From some of the posts you can see why some things are not discussed. People mock things they don't understand even though they are sacred to others.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Ignore Michael M....not sure why one would lie when the information is on the web. Look up "Penalty" (Mormonism) on Wikipedia. The Blood oath started with Joseph Smith and stopped in 1990.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • reality check

      The blood oath, did take place, but it no longer does. It was supposed to be temporary based on the justification for it. Sheesh, nobody knows facts but has no problem bearing false witness against the mormons.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • pastmorm

      hey realitycheck, you dumb git, look at my post. I stated when it started and ended. I'm convinced you're a mormon. NOBODY defends a religion the way you do without belonging. That or you're just crazy....hmmmmm....could be crazy....

      April 8, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Joe

      No, I attended the temple in the eighties, and have talked about it with people who attended in the 50s (we discuss in the temple).

      April 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Joe, do you think that the internet doesn't exist? Who cares who you talk to and you probably attended the temple to do baptisms for the dead in the 80's. I attended in 1990 and YES I HAD TO COMMIT TO THE BLOOD OATH! Why do you mormons lie so much when people can find out the truth online or by talking to the MILLIONS of exmormons?????

      April 8, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Michael M.

      To join the church you are baptized just as the Savior was and their is no promise not to disclosure secrets. Members of the church who attend the temple do make promises not disclose or make lite of sacred things but there is not anything like what you have described of disembowing oneself. I did not attend the temple prior to the 1990's to which pastmormon refers to. I can tell you the temple is a sacred, peaceful place where I feel close to the Savior.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • gavin

      Pastmorm is wrong. There is not any truth to that. Mormons have never been told to physically injure themselves in any form. You can talk to someone who clearly hates the Church and get the answer they want you to have. But go ahead and talk to people who have left the church, and you can ask current members and hear what they have to say about it. Then see how you feel about it, you will probably be able to feel the truth for yourself as you study it out.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • pastmorm

      gavin....you're a member of the mormon church and you're forbidden to talk about anything in the temple ceremony INCLUDING your secret name and you know know it. You're forbidden to show people your garments and you know it. You're forbidden to talk about the secret handshakes or the jumpsuits with the strange saucer hats you wear in the temple, and you know it.
      Don't lie. Why do you mormons always lie to cover up the truth? Do you have THAT MUCH SHAME in your own beliefs that you have to lie to hide them?
      What good would it do me to say all of the things I have about the mormon church (as a past member) if it were all a lie? Seriously, I have better things to do. But mormonism NEEDS to be exposed because you are a cult and you hide behind expensive commercials and fluffy smiles and wealthy politicians.

      April 9, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  6. pastmorm

    Caption for the man in front of the temple: "Oh goody! More money, more money, more money!" (said to the slightly braying sound of a donkey).

    April 8, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  7. jcom


    April 8, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  8. jcom

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeSSwKffj9o&w=420&h=315%5D

    April 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
  9. Ozarkhomesteader

    Where is the poverty of Jesus in this temple? And is this where Mitt Romney's "charitable" contributions went? to building a house of excess with crystals and gold? How incredibly inappropriate as "charity."

    April 8, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Yes, Ozarkhomesteader, you pretty much hit it on the head. The mormons have church buildings. They don't need these HUGE, decadent temples to worship god, but they love money and glory and power and they love showing the world what they have. Did Jesus build a temple during his time on earth?

      April 8, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • jcom

      Yeah, those immense Catholic churches all over Europe and Latin America are basically 4 walls and a roof...no decor at all.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • pastmorm

      jcom...those catholic churches are where Catholics worship. And though, yes, some of them are a bit out of control when it comes to decadence, Catholics still don't build separate temples where non-members aren't allowed....

      April 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • reality check

      Mitt Romney gave 15% to charity while Obama gave 1%.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
      • Ozarkhomesteader

        Fact check: Obama gave 14% last year.

        April 25, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
  10. foreverwar

    What a silly cult. Wearing underwear under your underwear so your "promise to god "can be closer to your sphincter. Have to give them points for creativity I guess.

    April 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • heguido

      Your comment says more about you than us... I'm deeply sorry.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • reality check

      Actually the garments are underwear in and of themselves. Why do you have a problem with Mormon underwear? You really need to stoop pretty low to attack that, especially if you are aware that the knee mark is symbolic of "Every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ." I wonder if you mock the tzizit and yarmulke with as much venom. Hate begets hate brother. FYI I am agnostic.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Man, when I was on my mission in Georgia, I HATED wearing those garments. Even though I could wear the cotton ones they were still awful. People have to wear them all the time in any climate under their clothes. Not a lot of freedom there...and the story behind why they have to wear them (marks on the garments match the ones on the curtains that you have to put your hand through to do the ritual handshakes at the temple) is a bit off for such a young religion....

      April 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • foreverwar

      @ reality check. They are all silly beliefs to me, completely unfounded.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • Rita Fort Collins CO

      We were told by the tour guide of the Mormon temple in Salt Lake City that women are not allowed at any time in the mormon temple. There is a separate place for wedding ceremonies and that is why. No one ever brings this out when you hear anything about the "religion". Please report on this practice. I am quite sure there are women who are just as holy as the men who are allowed but just because they are women they are not allowed in their own temple.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • reality check

      All Religions have silly beliefs. That why this quote works so well for me: “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      That said, the mormons are mocked for their garments....who actually find it interesting to discuss underwear? Of all things, underwear?? Since it seems to be a hot topic regardless and I will once again state that one of the marking, at the knee, represents that "every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ." The funny thing is, most mocking this profess to be Christian. I would find it laughable if not so typically pathetic. It is no wonder I reject religion.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • Truthbeknown

      @Rita. If the tour guide did tell you that women are not allowed in the Mormon temple, they were completely wrong. My guess is that there was some kind of misunderstanding. Of course women are able to attend the temple, just as much as men are. In fact, there are more women who attend the temple annually then men.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • gavin

      @Rita, you heard wrong. I am a woman and attend then temple regularly.

      April 9, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • missylu81


      Hi Rita, I am an LDS woman living in Fort Collins. I agree with the above comment that there must have been some misunderstanding about women and the temple from your guide. Women and men are both equally accepted in the temple, and worship together. One of the things that I love most about going to the temple is being able to go with my husband. It's a wonderful, peaceful time that we can spend together.

      You may know that a temple is going to be built in Fort Collins in the next year or two (on the corner of Timberline and Trilby). I would love to get in contact with you and be able to send you an invitation (which simply lets you know the dates and times–an invitation is NOT required to go into the Temple during the open house, you can just show up during the times and go in). I would even like to go with you to the open house where we can walk through the temple, see all the rooms, and have any of your questions answered. You can "chat" with a missionary online, and ask them how you can get an invitation to the temple open house, here: http://mormon.org/chat/

      Have a wonderful spring day!

      April 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  11. jcom

    It's funny to see all these people argue over which fairy tale is the "real" one. It's all hocus pocus, made up BS because man can't accept that death is really the end. Laughable...

    Further more, if you want to be religious...go ahead and worship in the way you choose...but don't try to force your beliefs on others or criticize those who don't believe the same thing you do. Mind your own business.

    April 8, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • heguido

      "Ha ha... There's nothin' in the other side of this glass. Knock it off, and get back to your round trips." said the fish in the fish-bowl. I wonder who is the short-minded here.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm |
    • jcom

      @heguido – ok, you're right...there's an invisible man living in the sky watching everything we do and if we behave, we'll get to live with that dude. How could I be so silly to not believe in such a thing?

      April 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
  12. matty bones

    Debating with religious people is sometimes like talking to a autistic person. Mormonism was started out like the other three main religions. A nut case or nut cases actually believe in the voices in there head and share with people what god told them and people want so much to grab a hold on something bigger in life and fall for these made up myths. 🙁

    April 8, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • RckyMtnGrl

      I fail to see the correlation between Mormons and autistic peeps where matters of discussion/debate are concerned. My brother is autistic, and let me assure you that conversations with him are vastly more sensical and logical than those I've had with the LDS members of my family (I love them dearly, but holy s***).

      April 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
  13. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things..

    April 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • foreverwar

      You should pray for a science class or two.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • An atheist


      There have been many studies regarding "prayer" that so no measurable result either positive or negative. Basically nothing happens.

      Whats is other things?

      Atheism is not harmful to any form of life. It is not a belief nor a religion, but a understanding that one who govern their own life is themselves and not a myth, faeries, or other untestable opinion of nature. It is better to teach a child the method and reason of being atheist; once a child is adult with a better understanding of world can make a better choice of their faith. Child raise by religion will have hard time choosing either from disown from their family or from never being allow to look the world from a different perspective.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • just sayin

      Tell it to the millions murdered by atheists in the last 100 years alone. God bless

      April 8, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • pastmorm

      just saying...really???? I mean REALLY? You're going to throw up a number and claim like that with no founding? That millions have died through history at the hands of atheists? WOW, you didn't get past 2nd grade did you bud?

      April 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • just sayin

      USSR : Joe Stalin atheist, murdered 24 million of his own countrymen, not including his war dead. God bless

      April 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • pastmorm

      alrighty, let's talk about the Catholic inquisition, the conquest of the America's all under Christians....Millions upon Millions died at the hands of Jesus believers...

      April 8, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • An atheist

      just sayin, you really do not understand atheist in any form. While the USSR and most communist nation to try force a non religious belief on their people does not make the people atheist. Joseph Stalin, not Joe Stalin who ever he was, did horrible crime against his countrymen that define reason; however, the crime he did are not special because he was an atheist, but because he was a dictator who used force just like older and modern dictatorship including Roman Empire, Italy during World War II, Iraq and Iran to name a few. As you can see these country leader belief in a religion of some kind, but they did bad things that either follow their beliefs or just because it amuse them.

      In the end it is not the religion or lack of religion that make people, male or female, in power become cruel and blood thirsty, but because they are human and nothing else.

      April 8, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      Without the moral restraint of a believing person the atheist at its extreme thinks nothing of mass murder. Belief is questionable in crusades and Americas, Not specific to Biblical Christianity. Again with out moral restraint an atheist leadership sees no problem in using the name of "god" to exploit their power and murder millions. God bless

      April 8, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  14. ug

    Finally a real story of the Mormons...beautiful temple also and the work that is done is sacred...

    April 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  15. dave

    The number of ignorant commentators on this blog is amazing!!! The Mormon Church teaches Christ Jesus and Him crucified. All this ridicule for other tenets is out of context, buzz words they have heard from anti's or their pastors with an agenda or too much meat. Go to lds.org and listen to General conference if you want to know what the leaders of our church teach

    April 8, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • TownC

      Amen! Mormon.org is another good place to get good information about the church and its members.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • pastmorm

      If we go to mormon.org then we only hear about mormonism they way you want us to hear about it. Not the real history of how Joseph Smith married a 13 year old girl or about how you believe you'll become a god when you die...thereby believing in more than one god...note even a monotheistic religion...

      April 8, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • reality check

      Pastmom, Joseph Smith didn't marry a 13 year old. You might want to actually look stuff up using the er, um Internet before writing. Also, based on the 14 year old that he married, there was no age law at that time and she was given permission t o marry by her parents. You can't judge history by current standards.

      “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      April 8, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • pastmorm

      Oh my gosh reality check....I'm SO sorry I missed the little girl's age by a year. So he married a 14 year old WHILE he was currently married to Emma (which was still illegal in America at the time...aka polygamy) and today 14 is pedophile. Do we really have to get down to semantics and talk about how creepy and wrong it was for him to do that to a little girl? If your church told you to marry out your 14 year old right now would you (if you had one)? Oh, I forgot, you follow your church blindly....that's why you think pedophilia is ok....

      April 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • reality check

      Pastmorm, I am thankfully agnostic. But, you can't just current laws for other times. Marriage of a 14 year old was legal. Was he married to Emma Smith? Yup, but again, laws were not quite what they were today. There is undoubtedly biblical justification for polygamy. But, religion is nonsense. The fact remains, you got the information wrong. It makes any other claim you make questionable. Again, was it legal for a 14 year old to marry then? Yes, in fact in Texas, it was legal until only a few years ago.

      Terming me a "pedophile" for showing you are wrong is pathetic and you are bearing false witness and committing libel. The fact again, remains that it was legal and current laws are irrelevant. FYI Moses was a murderer.

      “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      April 8, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • pastmorm

      LOL! I'm having fun with how ignorant you are reality check...

      Look up polygamy. It was illegal in 1830, so yes, old Joe Smith was breaking the law and marrying children at the same time.

      And yet you continue to argue.

      What is it? Haldol, thorazine? lithium? I mean I'm sure there's an emergency room that can get you the meds you've run out of.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • reality check

      Pastmorm,. You are proof of ignorance. You may want to read about the Morrill anti-bigamy law. Feel free to then apologize to me and the mormons you are libeling.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • pastmorm

      lithium lover reality check, my great (etc) grandfather's name was Lorenzo Roundy. He was a polygamist. Look him up online. My third sister currently belongs to one of those crazy off-shoots of the mormons that still practices polygamy and is one herself. So take your blatant ignorance and peddle it where people don't have the experiences or brains to know better.

      April 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  16. rbiehn

    What a shame to see the religious bigotry that is rampant in most of these replies. Ignorance is not an excuse for bigotry.

    April 8, 2012 at 3:53 pm |
    • matty bones

      Explain a little deeper. I am curious on what you think is ignorant.

      April 8, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • pastmorm

      And generally speaking, bigotry is based on race...true it can be based on other things, but to say you're bigoted against mormonism is kinda silly. Maybe we just REALLY don't like your beliefs and how you force them on people.

      April 8, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • reality check

      Pastmom, please do us all a favor and look up the word "bigotry." You seem quite ignorant as to its meaning.

      Also, nobody forces Mormonism on you. They aren't like the Catholics that taught conversion by the sword. Sheesh, so many lies about the Mormon church and I am ex-mormon and usually considered anti. Even I can't take the trash being vomited.

      “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      April 8, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • pastmorm

      reality check...why don't you take the advise of your username? Seriously, you're going to say that you're anti-mormon but you are defending it tooth and nail. You must have a LOT of time on your hand. Why does it bother you so much that I'm pointing out mormon history if you're so anti-mormon yourself?
      Get those meds bud. I think you missed your dose for the day.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • reality check

      Pastmorm, I despise people like you because you make anti-mormons look bad. You stretch the truth so far that it becomes a lie. I ONLY use truth and that's all it takes. I will defend the church against lies, especially when you can't argue truth. If you don't know what you are writing about, please don't....again, it makes anti's like me look like liars. Truth, I will indeed fight for tooth and nail!

      April 8, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • pastmorm

      ewwww, it's fun to be despised by a nobody (reality check)!!!

      April 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
  17. matty bones

    Goes to show that people will believe anything. Doing research on how Mormonism came about should be enough to show that it is made up. No proof of the tribes of Israel coming to America. No artifacts to prove that. Also it states that the natives living here were white and turned red when they disobeyed god. I am not a religious guy but revelations tells of the end. How can this be a extension.

    April 8, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • ug

      Just like we haven't found Noah's ark yet and we still beleive there was a great floor or Sodom and Goneria...they were destroyed yet they existed...so show me more of your proof that the Mormons are made up by man...I am waiting to see this...

      April 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • An atheist

      Um the ruin believe to be Sodom and Gomorrah are unknown cities from an era before the creation of Jewish nation. If these cities exist in the past no has agree on their location. Furthermore the story of Sodom and Gomorrah is a possible myth to explain several destroy cities of a previous nation or kingdom of the Dead Sea area. There are several cities in the area of the Dead Sea that were destroy in around 4,000 B.C.E. but the method of destruction for each cities is questionable, but none show the sign of volcanic or similar destructive means.

      April 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • reality check

      Matty Bones, it's ALL made up.
      “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

      April 8, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  18. reality check

    Smeagel4t, “I contend we are both atheists, I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.” —Stephen F Roberts

    April 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  19. pastmorm

    This video is based on a book that Mormons follow in the same way they follow their Book of Mormon. It's called the Pearl of Great Price and it's based on some scrolls that Joseph Smith found when he bought some Egyptian mummies after translating the Golden Plates.


    April 8, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  20. Smeagel4T

    The false religion of Mormonism shall seek to divide Christian from Christian. From this false religion shall come a false prophet who shall bear before him a book of heresies written by the Great Deceiver and upon which the false prophet shall swear his oaths unto the Great Deceiver. Woe be unto those who this false prophet shall lead from the true path to become his followers, for the gates of Heaven shall be forever closed unto them.

    April 8, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • ug

      Funny how a non Mormon knows more about religion than everyone else and more about the Mormons than the Mormons do...wow your so cool...NOT!

      April 8, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.